Virtual printer is not a physical hardware device rather it is an application software that allows the user to perform various tasks without actually printing anything. The virtual printer is not connected to the physical printer. But the interfaces and API of virtual printer are similar to that of a physical printer driver. A virtual printer is mainly used for the following purposes:
- To make a PDF file of the document.
- To convert a document into an image file such as JPG, GIF, PNG, etc.
- To send the document to a fax server for paperless printing.
- To preview the document before printing so that errors can be found and fixed.
- To add special features like watermark, stationery elements, etc. to the document prior to printing.
A part from the above-mentioned Reasons, there are many situations where AP do not need the physical printout. In such cases, we can choose the virtual print option to save the document in a particular file format, such as:
print to File: Printing a document to a file means saving a copy of the document in a format that can be used by other printers. It is useful when you need to transfer your document to other machines or printers. For example, if you want to print your document in a commercial printer that usually has a high resolution, you can first print the document to a file and then transfer the file to a commercial printer.
Print to pDF: Print to PDF becomes necessary when it is required to make the Portable Document File (PDF) and not the hardcopy of the document.
Print to XPS: Print to XPS is required when the document is required to save in XML Paper Specification or .xps file format. XPS format file can be printed on any modern windows-compatible printers.
Print to Image: Print to image is used when it is required to view the document in an image format like JPG, GIF, TIFF, etc.